Down the Homestretch: Alberta’s political horserace heads toward finish line
Alberta’s new premier, Danielle Smith, has unveiled her first Throne Speech that will frame her government’s key pre-election priorities. The Speech signals the start of the final session of the Alberta legislature before the next election, now just six months away! She has also introduced her proposed Sovereignty Act in the legislature.
As the UCP and NDP head down the home stretch, polls show the political horserace is neck-and-neck. The governing UCP appear more united than at any point since 2019, while the opposition NDP are confident they are well-positioned to take back the reigns of power.
Of critical importance, the polls also show the top issues for Albertans have changed significantly since the last election, shifting from jobs, the economy, and pipelines to healthcare and the rapidly rising cost of living. Many people are asking, do those key issues truly play to the strengths of Rachel Notley and the NDP? And will Premier Smith pivot from talking about vaccine mandates and pushing back on Ottawa, and instead focus on affordability and healthcare?
Sign-up for Prairie Sky Strategy’s latest live, interactive webinar where our diverse panel of experts will provide insights on the dynamics inside Alberta’s current political environment and help make sense of what is sure to be a bumpy ride toward the provincial election on May 29, 2023.
Jim Dinning, Senior Counsel, Prairie Sky Strategy (Alberta), and former Provincial Treasurer
Jim is Chair Emeritus of the Canada West Foundation having served as chair from 2010 to 2013 and on the board since 2003. He serves as a corporate chair and director of a number of public and private companies and not for profits. Mr. Dinning held several key positions during his 11 years as a member of the legislative assembly in Alberta. Of note is Mr. Dinning’s service as provincial treasurer from 1992 to 1997. In 2015, Jim was named a member of the Order of Canada and a Fellow of the Institute of Corporate Directors.
Shachi Kurl, President, Angus Reid Institute
Shachi is President of the Angus Reid Institute, Canada’s non-profit foundation committed to independent research. She works with public opinion data to further public knowledge and enhance the national understanding of issues that matter to Canada and the world.
Jason Markusoff, Opinion and Analysis Producer, CBC Calgary
Jason analyzes what’s happening — and what isn’t happening, but probably should be — in Calgary and sometimes farther afield. He’s written in Alberta for nearly two decades with Maclean’s magazine, the Calgary Herald and Edmonton Journal. He appears regularly on Power and Politics’ Power Panel and various other CBC current affairs shows.
Richard Truscott, Vice-President, Prairie Sky Strategy (Moderator)
Richard is a veteran of Alberta politics with over 30 years of experience in public policy and advocacy, government relations, crisis and strategic communications, public relations, and issues management. For more than a decade, he served in senior leadership roles with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), the nation’s largest association of independent businesses.
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